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Yom Kippur from Home

Yom Kippur from Home Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, is often spent in synagogue. Of course, this year for most will be different. While we know we can still …

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An Egyptian Rosh Hashana Seder

An Egyptian Rosh Hashana Seder The festival of Rosh Hashana is both a joyous celebration and the start of a period of ten days during which Jewish people engage in …

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“Love each other. Be tolerant. Help each other.”

“Love each other. Be tolerant. Help each other.” “What legacy can I leave my children, grandchildren and great-grands? Much love. Yes… Love each other. Be tolerant. Help each other.” – …

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Survivor Portraits – Oscar (David) Benedikt

Holocaust survivor Oscar (David) Benedikt was born in 1920 in Brno, Czechoslovakia. He described himself as a “spoiled only child” to convey the tragedy of what lay ahead.

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100 years of learning

100 years of learning It was spring, the scent of flowering linden trees wafted in the air, the bank of a river, my nanny and my stroller. These were my …

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Survivor Portraits – Sam Young (Szmul Jungzweig)

Sam Young was born in 1925 in Lodz, Poland. However, Sam lost track of his age between 1941 and 1945, due to the disruption the war had on his life.

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Synagogues and memory

Synagogues and memory When synagogues were forced to close their doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many Jewish communities felt distressed; not necessarily at the knowledge that they couldn’t attend, but …

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Survivor Portraits – Margot Tischmann

Margot was born 1933 in Duisburg, Germany, “when things were already bad,” she recalls. It was the year Hitler came to power.

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Black lives didn’t matter: The Afro-German experience

Black lives didn’t matter: The Afro-German experience By Emeritus Professor Konrad Kwiet Afro-Germans – Germans of African descent – are among the forgotten victims of German racism and Nazi terror. …

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Telling the Holocaust through poems

Telling the Holocaust through poems There are hundreds of testimonies in the Sydney Jewish Museum’s collection from survivors who have shared their stories of suffering and survival. It is always …

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Refugee Week: An interview with Holocaust survivor Peter Halas

Refugee Week: An interview with Holocaust survivor Peter Halas On Refugee Week we share an interview with Holocaust survivor and founder of Seafolly, Peter Halas. Peter shares what made him …

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Anne Frank’s birthday: Stories of hiding

Anne Frank’s birthday: stories of hiding Today, on Anne Frank’s birthday, we are taking time to reflect on the experiences of Jewish men, women and children in hiding during the …

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From Dunera to D-Day

On the anniversary of D-Day, we tell the story of Barney Barnett; a Jewish soldier who survived D-Day and fought against Nazi Germany until he was captured.

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Survivor Portraits – Joe (Joseph) Symon

Joe was born 1925 in Budapest, Hungary. The skills he learned as a boy scout as a child helped him to survive the war.

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Remembering the victims of the Farhud

Remembering the victims of the Farhud Today we remember the victims of the Farhud (Arabic for “pogrom” or “violent dispossession”) which erupted on June 1, 1941 in Baghdad, Iraq. Over …

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A wedding in Theresienstadt

This is a story about the wedding of Otto Ehrmann and Elfi Felixova in Theresienstadt in 1943, before the young couple was to learn of their fates.

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The stories behind the pink triangle

On International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia we reflect on the untold testimonies from the persecuted LGBTIQ community during the Holocaust.

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Jewish Doctors – Combatting Diseases During the Holocaust

As long as and wherever Jews were allowed to live during the Holocaust, Jewish doctors were indispensable. They also had a slightly higher chance of survival than other professionals.

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Newfound friendships in isolation

While many Holocaust survivors are feeling isolated right now, we have launched a Pen Pal Project to connect students and Holocaust survivors with one another through letter writing during these uncertain times.

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Survivor Portraits – Helen Studencki

Helen Studencki was born in Radymno, Poland during World War II. She survived the war initially in a ghetto, and then in hiding.

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The diary of Harold Collins: “I have seen dead men laying about by the 100”

On Anzac Day, we dive into the diary of Jewish Australian soldier in the First World War, Harold Collins to learn more about his war-time experiences.

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Out of Egypt

For the Jews of Egypt in the mid-twentieth century, the Passover story was not just a mythical story. This was their story. As a Sephardi Jewish girl born in Alexandria, Egypt in 1939, this was also my story.

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Perspectives on the liberation of Bergen-Belsen

Perspectives on the liberation of Bergen-Belsen When Bergen-Belsen was liberated on 15 April 1945, a horrific landscape of death and suffering was revealed. News reels, photographs and sketches showed indescribable …

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Wash your hands!

Wash your hands! Handwashing is front and centre of media messaging right now, so we would like to explore the Jewish religious fixation on the frequent ritual washing of one’s …

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A Sephardi Seder Tradition

A Sephardi Seder Tradition The rituals of Pesach, or Passover, are observed and interpreted in different ways by different Jewish communities from across the world. In anticipation of the Sydney …

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Survivor Portraits – Eddie Jaku OAM

Eddie Jaku was born in Leipzig, Germany, in 1920 to a loving family that regarded themselves as “Germans first and foremost, and Jewish only in [their] home”. That all changed when Hitler came to power.

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Celebrating one of the strong women in the Purim story

Celebrating one of the strong women in the Purim story On International Women’s Day, and on the eve of Purim, we look at one of the powerful women in the …

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Survivor Portraits – Peter Rossler

Peter was born in Prague, Czechoslovakia, in 1930, and was nine years old when Germany invaded Czechoslovakia. Life as Peter knew it began to change.

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Australia – A Territorial Solution of the Jewish Problem

In April 1938 – following the Anschluss, or annexation, of Austria into Hitler’s Great Germanic Empire – a bizarre plan was hatched which has evaded history books. On the eve of the Holocaust, Australia was selected as a suitable site for solving the ‘Jewish Problem’.

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4 ways to create more inclusive habits

4 ways to create more inclusive habits To celebrate Mardi Gras this year, we are exploring ways that individuals can become more aware and more inclusive of people within the …

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Deena Yako’s story

Deena Yako fled Iraq with her family at the age of nine and works to support young refugees in Australia.

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Survivor Portraits – Jack Meister

Jack was born in Kielce, Poland, in 1928. He was 11 years old when the Nazis came, and that marked the end of his childhood.

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What happened after the evacuation and liberation of Auschwitz?

On 27 January 1945, Russian soldiers liberated 4,800 inmates from Auschwitz. The day has been chosen by the United Nations as International Holocaust Remembrance Day. But what is far less known – what happened after the evacuation and liberation of Auschwitz?

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Mensches, movers and shakers: Dr Kerryn Phelps AM

Dr Kerryn Phelps talks about how she continues to strive for change in public policy and her advice for young, emerging leaders.

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Righteous Among the Nations as mensches: Siek and Anna Attema

Siek and Anna Attema were Dutch farmers who selflessly hid Mia Polak and her sister for two years on their farm in Holland, during WWII.

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Survivor Portraits – Susan Warhaftig

Susan Warhaftig was born in 1937 in Vienna, Austria. She went into hiding in Hungary with her mother.

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Mensches, movers and shakers: Genevieve Clay-Smith

Genevieve Clay-Smith tells us about making film industry more representative and inclusive of people with disabilities.

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Auschwitz: The exchange of belongings

So many Jewish people deported to camps brought their most valuable and sentimental possessions with them to the camps. Where did they believe they were going, and what became of their precious belongings?

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Mensches, movers and shakers: Melanie and Sarah Penicka-Smith

Melanie and Sarah Penicka-Smith tell us how they are creating positive change in the LGBTQI+ space.

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Survivor Portraits – Mimi Wise

Mimi Wise was born in Milan, Italy, in 1937. As a baby, Mimi moved with her family to France.

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